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Teaching Evolution

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Lisa Blank

on 4 February 2016

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Transcript of Teaching Evolution

Teaching Evolution: Heredity + Differential Reproduction = Natural Selection
photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
All life forms vary within a population.
: Traits are inherited from parents and passed to offspring.
Nature of Science
Understanding Evolution K-2
Developmental Challenges
Essentialist Constraint
(Change through random variation and selection versus immutability)
Teleological Constraint
(Everything has a specific structure and function vs selection pressures)
(Structures are created by an intentional agent vs evolutionary mechanisms)
Conceptual Challenges:
"A whale is a fish"
Evolution is not an event, but a process
Emotional Challenges
Students who see themselves as scientists are more open to learning about evolution
Mastery orientation
Teaching Pitfalls and Slippery Slopes
Function not purpose
Survival of the fit enough
Making Fossils
Design an Animal

Mechanism vs. Origin
Individual organisms evolve during a single lifespan.
Evolution occurs slowly and gradually and humans cannot influence it.
Evolution results in progress.
among families and populations
depends on the environment and organismal structures. Organisms with traits that are favorable to their survival and reproduction are more likley to pass on their genes to the next generation.
Nature of Science
Teaching Evolution 3-5
Teaching Pitfalls
Function not purpose
Adaptation not design
Evidence not proof
Theory is not a guess
Populations adapt = Increased Frequency
Survival of the fit enough
Slippering Slopes
Making Fossils
Design an Animal
Predictions vs hypothesis
A hypothesis is an explanation
All life forms vary in a population
Speciation takes time
Teaching Evolution 6-8
Slippery Slopes
Hypotheses are explanations, not predictions
Organisms are classified by evolutionary history, not key characteristics. Avoid classifying designed object
Function not design
Adaptation not design
Accept not believe
Evidence not proof
Neither primitive or advanced
Confusing Evidence and causation
Full transcript